home > Pastor’s Desk > 2020 > May > THE TRAGEDY OF KING HEZEKIAH’S LAST FIFTEEN YEARS

THE TRAGEDY OF KING HEZEKIAH’S LAST FIFTEEN YEARS

The world empire of Assyria had recently conquered Israel to the north of Judah. Many Israelites had been slaughtered and many more had been deported into exile to Assyria. Now the Assyrians were making the intentions known to the Kingdom of Judah, where Hezekiah, the descendent of King David now reigned. The mighty Assyrian Emperor sent his emissary to Jerusalem to invite them to surrender too before being slaughtered if they refused—they even put it in writing!

2Kings 19:1 ¶ As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD.

The LORD heard King Hezekiah’s prayer and sent the Prophet Isaiah to him.

2Kings 19:32 ¶ “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it.

 

ISAIAH’S PROPHETIC WORD DRAMATICALLY FULFILLED!

2Kings 19:35 ¶ And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.

King Hezekiah’s had just experienced one of the most miraculous acts of deliverance in Israel’s history! To top it off, when Emperor Sennacherib returned he suffered a humiliating death.

Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
Second Kings 19:36-37 

How did King Hezekiah respond after experiencing such a dramatic answer to his prayers and witnessing an extraordinary act of miraculous deliverance? We can only surmise. But if history is anything to go by, then Hezekiah may have responded over time in the way that most such recipients have responded. History almost universally reveals that a person’s spiritual state is inversely proportional to their level of material success and popular acclaim. I cite two examples who immediately support my point: King Solomon, and, Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps it was God’s grace then that Lord announced to Hezekiah that he was about to die soon.

2Kings 20:1 ¶ In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’” 

What happened next is one of the most powerful examples of what worship truly is. We see positive examples of a worshipful response to God’s voice in such godly people as Mary, the mother of Jesus. 

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:38

But Hezekiah’s response stands as a biblical warning to all those who seek to be true worshipers of God. His response indicates that there was a growing amount of undetected arrogance in his heart. We some of this same kind of arrogance in Samson who had also become used to experiencing God’s deliverance of him. In his arrogance he ignored God’s Law and pursued the satisfaction of his sensual desires. When he had all but abandoned God and his pledge of obedience to Him, he arrogantly continued to assume that God would continue to deliver him from his enemies. 

And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
Judges 16:20  

The Lord heard King Hezekiah’s prayer and once again sent the beloved prophet Isaiah to him. “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD” (2Kings 20:5).

2Kings 20:6 and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.”

After the Lord answered King Hezekiah’s prayer, Hezekiah and Judah entered into a time of blessing and peace. But, Ezra tells us in the parallel account in Second Chronicles, that the previously undetected pride in Hezekiah’s heart went unchecked after the Lord answered his prayer to be healed and have his life extended.

But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem.
Second Chronicles 32:25 

And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart. -Second Chronicles 32:31¶ And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds. He likewise provided cities for himself, and flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great possessions. And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.
Second Chronicles 32:27-31

 

NOT EVEN REPENTANCE UNDOES CONSEQUENCES

Repentance leads to forgiveness but it rarely undoes the resultant consequences of a person’s sin. The sins of Hezekiah’s last fifteen years had a disastrous impact on Judah. The tragic depths of his spiritual decline are seen in his boastful hospitality toward the Babylonian emissaries who visited him on behalf of their king to supposedly wish him a speedy recovery.  Rather than see the obvious threat this made to national security, King Hezekiah—in almost ‘Samsonesque’ arrogance—actually showed them the national and royal treasures, and where they could be found!   

2Kings 20:13 And Hezekiah welcomed them, and he showed them all his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.

The damage that the final 15 years of King Hezekiah’s life and reign did to the destiny of Judah was staggering!

Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” And Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” ¶ Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
Second Kings 20:14-18

Bizarrely, when the prophet Isaiah revealed to King Hezekiah the damage that would unfold because of the King’s foolishness, Hezekiah responded, ““The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”” His complete lack of concern for his unholy legacy and the destiny of his descendants is bewildering. When a child of God is indifferent to the consequences of their choices on successive generations, or when their lack of action in taking steps to prevent evil in society, it is a pathetic sight. (This is why we in Tasmania need every believer to care about the future of our State and why we need to take the necessary steps to withstand evil in our society —especially when it is smuggled into culture through the halls of Parliament!)

2Kings 20:19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”

THE DAMAGE FROM KING HEZEKIAH’S LAST 15 YEARS

 

But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel. “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols … ¶ Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.
Second Kings 21:9, 11, 16

“Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols … He walked in all the way in which his father walked and served the idols that his father served and worshiped them.
Second Kings 21:11, 21

And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon. The king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, 7,000, and the craftsmen and the metal workers, 1,000, all of them strong and fit for war. And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. For because of the anger of the LORD it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence. ¶ And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Second Kings 24:15-17, 20

 

WHAT TASMANIAN CHRISTIANS SHOULD LEARN FROM THE LAST 15 YEARS OF HEZEKIAH

1. We Are More Inclined To Pray & Seek God When We Have a Fight On Our Hands.

2. Times of ‘Blessing & Peace’ Are Often More Dangerous Than Times of Trial.

3. ’Batons’ Should Be Passed, Not Dropped, Which Requires Intention & Training Of The Next Generation.

 

 

Your pastor,

Andrew

46 Comments

  1. Richard BRUNNING

    Thank’s Andrew, Bless you in God’s wider sense of the word. Richard B.

    Reply
    • legana

      Thank you Richard!
      -Andrew C.

      Reply
      • Femi Arilewola

        Thank you for the indepth teaching. I am richly blessed.

        Reply
    • Samuel

      God bless you.this is great

      Reply
      • Joan Mattis

        I truly enjoyed and was inspired by this Article.
        May God bless you Pastor.

        Reply
    • Mimi Johnson

      This was so edifying to me
      More depths in the Word sir.

      Reply
      • Nehemiah Wanyama

        Thanks alot 🙏

        Reply
        • Ozie Curry

          Wow! I will exercise of not doing what Hezekiah turned into, going to the Throne asking sincerely for Yahweh to create in me a clean heart and a meek and humble spirit 🙌🏿 ❤

          Reply
          • Wanga finny

            Thanks alot. Infact, I have learned that , we should just allow the will of God to happen in our life. Hezekiah would have not been in such a situation if the years were not added to him.

      • Vahnu

        Thanks God bless you more and more.

        Reply
        • AZT

          How sure are we that the prayers was what actually added 15yrs into his life.
          Did Hezekiah die immediately after the 15yrs

          Reply
          • Ron

            another side to this is sometimes the Lord has to expand the curtains in life. Perhaps Hezekiah was going to live 15 years anyway. I’ve seen people live 10 or 20 years beyond the original diagnosis

          • Ozie Curry

            Sounds like you need help with your doubt.

      • Genesis

        Thanks pastor Andrew for rightely dividing the word of truth and clear references in scriptures

        Reply
      • Festus Mutisya

        Thank you. This story, and the teachings around it, has never been clearer. God bless you

        Reply
    • Antony Somba

      Powerful insights

      Reply
      • Ozie C Curry

        Sounds like there are many doubters on here who need help with their doubts and fears.

        Reply
      • Alan Choy

        Very biblical. Thanks 👍 Richard

        Reply
    • Aderonke Tayo-Tiwo

      Thank you for the eye opening truths and indepth teaching!

      Reply
    • Alan Choy

      Very biblical

      Reply
  2. John Tessy

    Thanks ANDREW, MORE WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING.

    Reply
  3. ODABOR REBECCA

    Thanks for the eye opener Sir, what a lifetime lesson learnt from Hezekiah’s 15 years of mistakes!

    Reply
    • kendal Toppar

      GOD BLESS YOU FOR THIS.🙏

      Reply
      • legana

        Thank you Kendal!

        Reply
        • Jennifer Somuah

          Kendal shared the link,and it has blessed my life👏👏God bless You

          Reply
  4. Diane Sims

    Such a timely word for America. Thank you

    Reply
  5. Samuel Ogbobula

    Thanks so much for this insightful exposition.

    Reply
  6. Aurora Dela Cruz

    Thank you so much for a very clear explanation . So touched and inspired by God’s word. Bless you

    Reply
  7. Michael Oti Wiredu

    God bless you Pastor. You are blessed.

    Reply
    • Kevwe

      Hmm. This scripture is scary.
      The man I want to marry said God asked him not to marry me, that there will be a looming divorce in 10 years.
      Does God hate me? Or intend that I stay married only 10 years?.
      Is there a way out?

      Reply
  8. Moradeyo ojo ebenezer

    Thanks for the words of knowledge, more grace from holy Spirit.

    Reply
  9. Ben Adewale

    Two major lessons;
    1- Isaiah 57:1
    When God says it’s time, learn to respect that call.

    2- Showing off your accomplishment only gets you self appraisal but is it with God’s approval?

    Reply
  10. Henry Akinniyi

    This is very powerful.
    God bless you sir

    Reply
  11. Gabriel McSunny Okoye

    Where God is, our lives are like a movie that somebody has seen from the very beginning to the end. Our future is in His past.
    So we should learn to always respect God’s decision at all times, knowing that He sees the end from the very beginning.
    Moses made similar . mistake of not allowing God’s decision to hold, when God asked him to step aside, so that He might wipe out the incurably rebellious then generation of the Israelites, so that He would raise another through him -Moses, and he wouldn’t. And it later cost him not entering the Promised Land. Still, the whole of that generation didn’t enter it.
    Thank you for the exposition sir

    Reply
  12. Hildah

    This was really helpful thanks.

    Reply
  13. Bishop Greg Stevenson

    I have been powerfully blessed with the favor of God’s presence even to the appearing of Jesus Christ on several occasions yet I was not obedient the heavenly visitation that warned me to change the service that would cause me to have an unqualified doctor adjust my back. I knew the dream was from the Lord but I didn’t take the time and resources to solve the dream and casually went to an appointment Monday morning to an osteopath in Nice, France and had my thoracic spine injured at T7 & T8 which almost paralyzed me. The Lord has been using this injury as a thorn in my flesh to keep me from being conceited about the revelations He had given me about the soon coming of for the Church on Rosh Hashanah. I said I would trust Him to take care of my back and I did for 8 months but when I had opportunity I went to a new Chiropractor and it was an affront to God. I repented but will still pay the consequences and He will take me soon and I will not be able to go on the Rapture. I have been in ministry for almost 42 years. The word of the Lord was good and I will soon be call home. I will not make the same mistake of Hezekiah. Excellent commentary. Be blessed of the Lord !!

    Reply
  14. Gary

    So if Hezekiah did die without heirs to the throne his mother would probably be queen ( like Athaliah) , He disrupted Gods perfect will and so God instead gave His permissive will

    Reply
  15. Craig

    Well spoken and you have an excellent grasp of the parallel’s to our time. God grant us to humbly walk with Him. To humble ourselves and seek Him, especially in the good times, that we may reap the consequences of that kind of life in the bad times.
    Your brother-in-Christ in USA.

    Reply
  16. philomena inyang

    Thanks so much for this explanation. I have learnt a lot from this. We need to apply to the govt of today.

    Reply
  17. Elijah

    Thank you for this enriching insight.

    Reply
  18. Kobi from kenya

    When it’s God’s time it’s His time, Dear God help me understand your timing, your will and perfect plan for my life according to how God you intended it to be. I am trusting you with your timing at my place of work and the opportunities that only You can reveal to me. I am also trusting you in the journey to dating and marriage.Reveal the man you’ve intended for me at your own due time.
    God bless you for this revelation

    Reply
  19. Bernice

    This was insightful! Thank you, Pastor.

    Reply
  20. Odoemelem P

    God bless you Andrew, this is so inspiring.

    Reply
  21. Joseph Emmett

    I hope you are NOT saying that Manasseh’s birth was a punishment, I have heard so many preachers parrot this BADLY CRAFTED sermon. It shows that the person parroting this has not really done the heavy lifting required to preach the word. First off David’s line had to be preserved so Manasseh’s birth had to have happened. Second Manasseh was the opposite of his father in that he was doing evil but repented. God rejoices at the one who repents. So this Manasseh bashing and watch what you pray for is a biblical non fit with Hezakiah’s prayer. Its like the silliness of those who say David was a bad father not realizing who they are talking about. David’s family problems were not because of his bad parenting so called but because of his sin with Bathsheba as god said David would always have trouble in his home because of his adultery and killing of her husband Uriah.

    Reply
  22. Vijay Swaroop Singh

    Passing the baton of faith and not dropping it – is a wonderful thought.

    Reply
  23. Piangun Dakup

    Thanks so much for this. God bless you richly Amen 🙏

    Reply

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AMAZING ACCESS

Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.

WHY FINDING TRUTH MATTERS

How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).

THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT YEARS OF ANYONE’S LIFE

Parents, Kids Church leaders, and Christian school teachers should be intentional about shaping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ who have reasons for believing Christianity is true – which shapes them into virtuous contributors to society and to find their role in God’s Kingdom. This will be one of the necessary and indispensable means for the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ.

TIME- YOU CAN’T CONTROL IT – BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT

We live in a fast paced world. We expect things to happen quickly. None of us like to be kept waiting. Even when we order something online we expect it delivered straight away. Some of us having to work two or even three jobs just to be able to pay the bills. We describe ourselves as time-poor. Yet, we all get twenty-four-hours in a day. Sixty-minutes in an hour. And sixty-seconds in a minute. Most of us need to adjust how we see, understand, and treat our time. This will involve, what will be for some, adopting a foreign and largely unaccustomed view of time that involves worship, sabbath, and deepening relationships. From this biblical perspective we will come to see time as a gift from God, not a curse, or source of frustration. Within this gift of time God teaches us how to worship in those times when it is difficult to do so. Rather than thinking this divine gift of time is ours to do with what ever we want, God uses this gift to teach us that we should gift it back to Him beginning with (but not limited to) treating Sunday as a sabbath to come together to recommit our hearts, voices, minds, and presence with God’s people, back to God. God gives us passing time to learn to deepen relationships – especially with our kin, and our friends. Time is meant for relationship building. 

I AM WHO I AM BUT I AM NOT WHO I USED TO BE BUT I AM NOT YET WHO I WILL BE

One of the greatest lies that the would-be enemy of all our souls attempts to perpetuate is that we are what we are and we can never change. This lie is whispered into the ears of many people’s invisible ears so imperceptibly that they actually think it originated with them. “You were born this way – and you can never change”, “This is who you really are – and you can never change”, “There’s no hope of anything ever changing for better – so you might as well just kill yourself” and so on. But these sly alien voices inside the heads of the vulnerable are lies. People can change. People do change. Some circumstances were always going to be temporary and were always going to change. I know this is true because I am living proof. I am who I am but I am not who I used to be and I am not yet who I will be.

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It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  

THE LORD IS MY ROCK

Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.

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